Morse Kelley Playground is my neighborhood park. An easy 5 minute walk from my house, I’ve played basketball there and I’ve been that neighbor who calls 311 when the court lights are out or the nets are down. A couple years ago I heard that the park was going to be renovated and that a new plan might include a community garden. I didn’t attend the neighborhood meetings but I did email the city to voice my support for a community garden and asked to be put on the waiting list for a garden plot. Then I forgot about it.
Fast forward to this spring (two years later) when I received an email from the city asking if I’d still like one of the raised beds at the Morse Kelley community garden. Absolutely! On Saint Patrick’s Day 2012 I joined my fellow urban gardeners at a meeting at the VNA to talk about the new space and select garden coordinators. We then walked over to the playground and picked our individual plots. (Photo from Landscape Architecture Magazine – that’s me in the turquoise scarf!)
While my plants are still small and I’m just getting back into the groove of gardening, I love having a place near my home where I can garden! If you’re a Somerville resident you’ll understand what I mean when I say that I live on a typical Somerville lot – the lot is just barely larger than the footprint of our three-family. What little “yard” space I do have is on the north side and the only plants I’ve been able to grow there are hostas and sweet woodruff. But it makes a good area for putting a grill and having a compost bin (bought at a discount through the city). Thanks to the city and a Community Development Block Grant for renovating the Morse Kelley park to include, in addition to the community garden, a new kids playground and space for basketball, rock climbing, and a skate park! The vibe of the park is fantastic – I’m there just about every day tending my plants – and I love meeting neighbors and enjoying the vibrant, community scene. Another proud Somerville moment.
Somerville Urban Gardening Resources:
- Join Somerville Loves Urban Gardening on Facebook
- Follow updates on the city’s demonstration garden and peruse the city’s tumblr site Somerville Urban Ag
- Get on a list for your own garden plot in Somerville by contacting Jim Boyd with the city of Somerville
- Purchase a compost bin or a rain barrel at a discount from the city
- Check out programs at the Somerville Community Growing Center in Union Square
- Learning about raising chickens in Somerville
- Join the Somerville Garden Club and attend monthly meetings with other Somerville gardeners, or become a memeber simply to receive their excellent monthly newsletter
- Support the great work of Groundwork Somerville
- Hire Green City Growers to build a raised bed at your home or business
- Visit the community garden at the Somerville Hospital Campus (125 Lowell Street, Somerville)
- Read about other local urban gardeners in Ward 5
- Learn from Somerville’s own Tomato King
- Leave the work to the professionals and enjoy the fruits of other farmers’ labors at various farmers’ markets around the city
Hey, Somerville residents – what Somerville urban agriculture related sites did I miss? Let me know!